Clause 7. — (Removal of Hardships.)

Part of Orders of the Day — National Health Service (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th December 1949.

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Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale 12:00 am, 9th December 1949

We shall see.

We have had the experience, as I said earlier, that it is on this particular side of the service that the greatest burden has fallen. In those circumstances, we had to ask how that burden could be mitigated, and we came to the conclusion that if we could in some way reduce the queues at the surgeries and the unnecessary expenditure at the chemists' shops, it would be a good thing.

It is not correct to say it is only on the side of bottled medicine that some of the abuse has taken place—it is aspirins, bandages and so forth, costing less than a 1s., which in a large number of cases could have been purchased by the patient without having to call on the general practitioner, or without making a second call on a doctor for a prescription. That is where the abuse arises. It is no use my hon. Friends telling me that this is not the case, because this proposal has not, in fact, been received with much indignation, as it is generally accepted that there is an awareness of the abuse which has been taking place.